A Stir The Pots Post

Broa Makeover

by | Apr 27, 2012 | Bread

Making a perfect loaf of bread takes tweaking and persistence. Take the loaf of Broa, a Portugese corn bread, I recently made. Though it had a rustic feel, I wanted a better looking bread, as well as better expansion in the crumb. So I took out my notebook from The French Culinary Institute, my training ground from years ago, and found a Broa formula.

Though similar to the recent formula I had used from Azelia's Kitchen, there were difference in hydration, as well as a pre-gelatinization of the corn meal, kind of like polenta. The biggest difference was my school's had a higher ratio of wheat over rye in the final dough, and it wasn't leavened with sourdough.   


600g maize

100g wheat
300g rye
700g water
20g salt
20g fresh yeast

Here is my adaption of FCI's  straight dough version, with a rye levain.

Corn Soaker

100% Coarse corn

200% Water

6% salt

12% Olive oil

Final dough:

83% Wheat, or bread flour

17% rye (Whole grain or medium)

30% Rye levain

106% Corn Soaker

2% Yeast  (Optional, but useful)

You need a lot of rye in your bannetons for this dough. In addition, it's tacky and difficult to shape. I left it seam side down for a more volcanic look.





  1. Norbert Vollkornbrot

    Inspiring! I have to try. It’s on my list. I love Broa. I know Portuguese people. I worked with them. They are a xenophobic people. They love their bread. They love their cod. They always get arrested for soliciting hookers in downtown Toronto. Their daughters look good when they wear no pants.
    Have a great day.
    Norbert Vollkornbrot

  2. Jeremy

    Well Norbert, that’s a lot of stuff to soak up…but do try it? (weird grin on my face.). I hear it’s good with grilled sardines too! This version though tacky and difficult at first to tackle, still worked nice by turning around the percents and flour from all rye and just corn. Think the polenta addition instead of just a soake really tied the whole thing too!
    Happy baking….hookers and no pants? Ok!

  3. Paulo

    As portuguese it always inspires me to see Broa around in the interwebz. It’s amazing by it’s own and when the bread dries please do use the breadcrumbs soaked in olived oil, with some finely chopped parsley and garlic to coat a nice piece of fish and roast it in the oven. It’s delicious.
    @Jeremy: I nearly peed in my pants with your comment. Seriously loved it!

  4. Paulo

    Actually my regards should be sent to Norbert 🙂

  5. Jeremy

    Thanks for stopping by, it’s always lovely to find classics and revisit them…Norbert is a real joker, but passionate baker…


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